HAWICK Harlequins coach Timmy Pretswell says the next two games against Linden and Langholm are crucial to his side’s aim of climbing off the foot of the table and arresting a wretched 11-game losing streak, writes Alexander McLeman.
Quins are bottom of RBS East League Divison One and were blown away 43 points to 19 the last time they faced Linden, but Pretswell feels his charges have dramatically improved since then. He said: “It will be a tight match on Saturday against Linden, a typical Borders derby, and I feel after last weekend’s run-out against YM we are set for a good battle. There is not much that separates us and Linden in terms of quality of players, they just have a few lads who have that experience to win close games.
“Local derbies are always hard going, they are very physical and normally fairly even, especially down here where a lot of these boys have known each other for a long time. Our boys are young and lack derby match experience, but we are getting better every day and are definitely looking to push on with the rest of the season and cause some teams big problems.”
Pretswell admits that it has been a trying season with several heavy losses all but consigning them to the wooden spoon. However, with no relegation due to league restructuring, Quins are not in danger of losing their status. Pretswell added: “We are rock bottom and have lost quite a few games by some big margins but with no relegation this year the boys know that it’s about gaining experience and improving now so that next year we are not in this position again.”
Hawick Linden coach Lee Stewart said: “The boys are looking forward to Saturday as derby games are always tough and feisty.
“We know our capabilities and will play to the strengths we feel can win us the game. They have a smaller team, height-wise, which we will be looking to exploit. It will be close, and ultimately come down to whoever makes the most of their chances at the critical stages.”